Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never kn...


Details Home Fire

TitleHome Fire
ISBN9780735217683
Author
Release DateAug 15th, 2017
PublisherRiverhead Books
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction
Rating

Reviews Home Fire

  • Adina
    2017-08-15
    4.5* rounded up. Home Fire is the candidate I support to win the Booker Prize. Well, I only read 4 nominees until now so it is not a definite opinion. However, it is highly unlikely that I will make too much of an advancement in my reading of the longlist until the shortlist is published so it will probably remain on top for a while. If you read a few reviews you will realize that the novel is based on Antigone. Unfortunately, I cannot add anythi...
  • Hannah Greendale
    2017-09-01
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
  • Larry H
    2017-08-22
    Ever since their mother and grandmother died within the period of a year, Isma has cared for her younger twin siblings, Aneeka and Parvaiz. Their well-being has always been her first concern, even if it meant sacrificing her own dreams and ambitions. But now that the twins have turned 18, Isma is finally putting herself first, accepting an invitation from a mentor to travel to America and co-author a paper with her.That doesn't mean Isma won't wo...
  • Diane S ☔
    2017-08-22
    There are so many timely subjects right now, world concerns and threats, and authors have responded in kind. This novel features two Muslim families in Britain, two families that have very different opinions on family and how to show or display their Muslim beliefs. It moves the themes in Sophocles, Antigone to present times. I remember very little about Antigone, refreshed my memory on Wiki, but I cannot really knowledgeably comment on the adequ...
  • Maxwell
    2017-08-21
    I don't give 1-star reviews very often because I feel like I don't read a lot of books I would label as 'bad.' And this book, even, isn't 'bad' in my eyes. But when I think about things I enjoyed regarding this novel, there's pretty much nothing redeemable for me. The characters were flat, the plot was paper thin (even though I know it's a modern retelling of Antigone, I don't feel like that knowledge did anything to elevate the story), and the w...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2017-08-11
    I went looking for a review copy of this when it was included on the Man Booker Prize Long list, and was approved for one by the publisher through Edelweiss.This is a book that kept morphing as I read it and discussed it, and it ended up in a place far removed from my expectations at the beginning. Nowhere in the publisher summary or promotional material does it mention that the author is also basing this novel on the myth of Antigone, but she ha...
  • Hugh
    2017-07-27
    When the Booker longlist was announced, this was one of the books that most interested me, because I really enjoyed Shamsie's previous two novels (A God in Every Stone and Burnt Shadows). I was a little nervous when I read that this is a modern retelling of Antigone, because my knowledge of the classics is very limited, but it is a fine book and another one which would make a worthy winner.The book is in five sections each of which focuses on a d...
  • Dianne
    2017-11-04
    This is a powerful and gut-wrenching book loosely based on Greek mythology's story of Antigone, a woman defying a king to secure her brother an honorable burial. I knew this going in, so I did some research on Antigone so I could appreciate the parallels as they unfolded."Home Fire" is told through 5 viewpoints: sisters Isma and Aneeka, their brother Parvaiz (Aneeka's twin), British Home Secretary Karamat Lone and his son Eamonn. Isma, Aneeka and...
  • Paul Fulcher
    2017-07-27
    ‘What do you say to your father when he makes a speech like that? Do you say, Dad, you’re making it OK to stigmatise people for the way they dress? Do you say, what kind of idiot stands in front of a group of teenagers and tells them to conform? Do you say, why didn’t you mention that among the things this country will let you achieve if you’re Muslim is torture, rendition, detention without trial, airport interrogations, spies in your mo...
  • Roman Clodia
    2017-06-28
    Inspired by Sophocles' Antigone, this has a slightly shaky start but then soars into an outstanding tragedy of love, politics, justice and humanity. By drawing on Athenian tragedy, Shamsie makes the point that clashes of civic law vs a deeper, more humane sense of what is right have always been contested, and the tension between family and state always problematic. What she does so brilliantly in this book is to take these questions and give the...
  • Trish
    2017-09-18
    Shamsie’s novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for 2017. It is topical: two British families with Muslim religious roots and Pakistani backgrounds cone together in a doomed pas de deux . The author Shamsie, according to cover copy, grew up in Karachi, and yet in her picture she has the round eyes of a Westerner. The cultural difficulties she writes of may not be too difficult for her to imagine, I’m guessing.I read this novel very f...
  • Claire McAlpine
    2017-08-02
    I read Home Fire in two days, I thought it was brilliantly done, heartbreaking, tragic, essential.Underpinning the novel is the premise of Sophocles' 5thC BC play Antigone, an exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. Before reading Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire, I downloaded a translation of Antigone to read, acknowledging herself that Anne Carson's translatio...
  • Trudie
    2017-11-11
    This book reminded me of why I love fiction so much. Sometimes I pick up a book for escapism, sometimes to be challenged by a writer who is a master with language, occasionally it's because I feel obligated to read a particular book. Home Fire reminded me that if I was to distill my enjoyment down to one factor it would be the pleasure to be had from placing yourself in the minds and lives of others. Particularly when these others are experienc...
  • Jennifer
    2017-09-13
    This was a 3-star read for most of the book, but the last section was so phenomenal that it elevated the entire novel to something really special. Shamsie establishes the sovereignty of her own story before really diving into the Antigone references at the end, and she plays with a range of themes from Antigone and addresses contemporary issues without diminishing either goal. I leave this book with a much deeper sense of how complicated it is to...
  • Gumble's Yard
    2017-07-26
    Now longlisted for the 2018 Women's Prize - a book I originally read due to its longlisting for the 2017 Booker prize and by an author whose previous works I have not read. In the stories of wicked tyrants men and women are punished with exile, bodies are kept from their families –their heads impaled on spikes, their corpses thrown into unmarked graves. All these things happen according to the law, but not according to justice. I am here to ask...
  • Sonja Arlow
    2018-02-09
    A few years ago, one of my best friends eloped to marry a wonderful man. The fact that he was Muslim never even registered with me until she, a former Catholic, tentatively started telling people about this. She got mixed reactions even from those closest to her. Most recently her longest standing friend from London flatly refused to come visit her in SA because of “that Muslim” whom she has never spoken to or met. It broke her heart. So, at ...
  • Vanessa
    2017-08-16
    A timely examination of what it means to be a Muslim in a hostile Western modern society where pre conceived notions are at odds with some horrifying realities. It took me awhile to fully invest in this book and about mid way I was deeply absorbed and felt the immense force and power of this book. I felt a deep connection with the plight of the characters and how parts of their personal story unravel to really make you understand the complexities...
  • Neil
    2017-08-16
    I have not read any of Shamsie’s previous novels, so this was new territory for me. It’s a good sign, I guess, that I have immediately added two other books to my “to read” list to try some more. This book isn’t perfect, but it is very, very good.I have seen some discussions about the use Shamsie makes of Antigone, perhaps specifically Anouilh’s version produced in occupied France during World War II. This influence is clear. You can ...
  • Britta Böhler
    2017-08-16
    4.5*
  • Meike
    2017-08-05
    Now Nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction" - Go back to uni, study the law. Accept the law, even when it's unjust. - You don't love either justice or our brother if you can say that." This book tells the story of a British family with Pakistani roots that gets torn apart by the ideology of jihad - and the story is modeled after Sophocles' classic greek tragedy Antigone. I loved the idea, as it underlines that the turmoil we are facing today...
  • Doug
    2017-08-11
    4.5 A modern gloss on Antigone, this Booker nominee is now in 2nd place of my ranked longlisted books (with four other nominees to go!). Unlike several GR friends who either had no prior knowledge of its classical connection, or weren't conversant in the original Greek, that element undoubtedly enhanced my appreciation of what Shamsie achieves here (my degrees are in theatre, so I am fairly knowledgeable about the original texts). It was fascinat...
  • Emma
    2017-11-12
    This very modern retelling of Sophocless Antigone The Complete Plays shows exactly why ancient drama still holds valid questions and truths for modern audiences. In Shamsie's reshaping, it loses none of its power to question the morality how we live now, and what obligations we hold to family, to society, to law, to religion, and to ourselves. As in the original play, the author asks whether our loyalties should lie with blood, with family, and t...
  • Elli (The Bibliophile)
    2017-08-03
    I devoured this book in a single day, something I haven't done in a very long time. What a great, complex, well-written novel. It's themes are incredibly relevant but nothing feels forced or artificial about the plot. I really hope this gets short-listed for the Man Booker prize!
  • Thomas
    2017-11-22
    3.5 starsA relevant novel given our political climate, Home Fire details the complicated ordeal of three siblings haunted by the legacy of their jihadist father. The story begins with Isma, the eldest sister, a Londoner of Pakistani descent on her way to start her Ph.D. at Amherst. We then learn about her younger twin siblings, Aneeka, a headstrong and intelligent law student, and Parvaiz, who disappears to follow his own dreams. When Isma and An...
  • Jill
    2017-09-24
    If truth be known, I picked up Home Fire with some reluctance. My fear was that Home Fire would be another over-simplified book, painting its Muslim characters as either wild-eyed terrorists or pitiful victims. I needn’t have worried. This is a nuanced book that is good – so good, in fact, that Ms. Shamsie had me in thrall right ‘til the extraordinarily powerful last lines. The book is based loosely on Sophocles’ Antigone, and even in sta...
  • Saif Sayed
    2018-01-06
    Home Fire by Kamila Shamie is one book that I would definitely support in the Man Booker Prize’17 which was long listed in the same. I wonder how Exit West by Mohsin Hamid made it through the Short listed Man Booker Prize. Considering the quality of writing and content between the two books, I feel Home Fire much deserved to be in the final list. Anyway, the winner of Man Booker Prize'17 is already announced and it won't make any sense to discu...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    2017-09-09
    There are still so few books about Muslim characters, that treat them as central and important figures, that Home Fire feels like more of a revelation than I wish it did. I could read five books about Isma, the woman whose story opens the novel. I wanted to know everything about her, I wanted to read her entire past and her entire future. The book begins with Isma's fear about not being able to travel when she needs to, and over time we see all t...
  • Bookworm
    2017-12-15
    Oh wow! What a thought-provoking and emotional read! I was not expecting such a powerful and cleverly written work of fiction. Home Fire tackles a difficult yet important subject matter - the humanistic impact of modern day terrorism. The reader is brought into an all-too-familiar scenario in which people of Muslim faith are automatically branded as Jihadists and suspected of sympathizing with terrorist activities. The prejudices and "extra secur...
  • Anum Shaharyar
    2018-02-08
    Home fire is the kind of book you should most definitely read, not only because it’s smart, but also because it’s well written, and that is always a good incentive to read anything. Kamila Shamsie’s writing, so amateur and unpolished in her earlier novels like In the City by the Sea, just keeps getting better and better. And while Home Fire is not my favourite Shamsie work (Burnt Shadows wins hands down), it’s still a very very close seco...